The recent Corona pandemic has completely changed the way we live. The first knock-on effects were absolutely shocking for business and this has forced us to re-think solutions to transform the way we might work and interact moving forward.
Most of the research backed reports show that the COVID-19 pandemic will take at least a year before work life settles into its new form, and a new normal. And, with such a massive crisis at a global level, the way we live and work will ultimately transform itself significantly.
Most large scale organizations evolved quickly, moving to virtual teams was their no 1 priority, resulting in a spike in use of online collaborative tools by millions of enterprises users. This wasn’t the case for everyone, a lot of small to medium scale companies suffered, many are desperately dependent on the various aids provided by the government to survive.
Considering the uncertainty of such unprecedented times in the future, building virtual teams has become the need of the hour for every business to continue to serve their customers.
One of the positive outcomes from the Corona pandemic is that the world has understood that such a crises is likely to come up anytime in the future, and we need to build systems and processes that last through such disruptive times. And one of the ways of keeping businesses run in such difficult times is by building global virtual teams that are not limited to one region there by distributing your risk away from large single point failures.
The benefits of building virtual teams
Going global and collaborating online is the only way ahead to run businesses successfully. This might not apply fully to manufacturer, bot for everyone else outsourcing digital skills add to the intrinsic value without weakening an organizations foundation. Global teams often bring a new perspective to strategy and problem solving.
Reduced Cost of Operations
When the employees are working remotely, organizations save a lot of money in acquiring new infrastructure or maintaining an existing one. When employees work remotely, there are reduced travel bills, electricity bills, water bills, and reduced desk costs. The reduced operation cost also reduces the production cost of products and invites much better profits to the organization.
The higher you climb up the organization, the difficult it gets to finish your own tasks as you get engrossed in micro-managing others.
This is a common scenario with all team leaders, managers, and senior executives. When everyone is physically present in the office, micromanaging and supervising operations become natural.
But, with virtual teams, you only need to supervise the final outcome of your teams. This gives everyone ample time to plan and finish their tasks. So, setting up virtual teams helps to focus better and minimize disruption.
Technology Support Available
Though the COVID crisis has shaken up the world completely, life has to go on. You must have read plenty of media reports about how organizations supported their businesses by moving online.
University of Bologna (Italy) announced that they are moving all their courses online, just four days after the lockout. The St. Luke’s University Health Network in Pennsylvania is using video conferencing to consult patients. In Japan, the City of Osaka is conducting online training for hundreds of newly joined employees. In India, the schools, the colleges, the corporate are already working remotely with applications like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Viber, Skype, Snapchat, and FaceTime.
Moreover, there is ample technological support available to work remotely. The Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and processes of collaborating online already exist, so there are no challenges to build a team virtually. The very fact that the best of MNC’s and TNC’s are already having multiple virtual teams all over the globe proves that this concept works well.
The comfort of sitting and working from the quiet corner of the home with no traveling hassles and the pleasure of munching on your favorite food and snacks in between, all sums up to increased productivity. And, it is a well known fact that productivity is directly proportional to profits.
With no direct interference in the work process, the team members get a free hand to do work. This calls for flatter organizations with no bureaucracy, which eases out working to a great extent. Of course, this again adds on to the increased productivity of employees and raises their happiness quotient, making them engaged employees.
Ensure the products reach the market sooner
Usually, in virtual teams, the employees from different time zones collaborate together on the same project, so the work is always on 24 by 7. When employees hailing from one country sleep in the night, the employees belonging to another country where its day time work and vice-versa.
So, this ensures that the same project is attended day and night, which ensures a shorter product development cycle, and the product reaches the market sooner.
Access to global talent:
The online collaboration of talent from different parts of the world ensures increased knowledge sharing and a much greater scope of innovation as new ideas get to cross paths.
Many skilled employees are hesitant to relocate to different places due to various reasons; they can easily be hired as a virtual team member. It opens up plenty of new opportunities for existing employees with in the organization. Moreover, the organizations can use their existing talent pool in a much better way by collaborating online.
Though online collaborations have always been in use by corporate but working remotely has gained immense importance during the recent COVID pandemic. Due to human intervention and excessive pollution, our environment has much deteriorated. Today, we have Corona; tomorrow, it can be another virus that can bring a challenge to our survival. We need to build a solid system where we can work from our place, which will support businesses and survival during such unprecedented times.